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Ariel Atkins writes a column on how she got the call to join the USA Olympic team and more

The Washington Mystics also gave more insight on her experience as a player over the past year during the coronavirus pandemic.

2020 Tokyo Olympics: USA v Japan
Ariel Atkins detailed her journey to making the Olympic team this year in a column on The Players’ Tribune.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins is having a career season in 2021. She is averaging a career-high 16.8 points and 3.5 assists per game while making about 40 percent of her three pointers. She is also a first-time Olympian where she is on the USA Basketball women’s national team. It is true that she has played very sparingly in Tokyo during the group stage. But for the Olympic team, earning a spot in and of itself is an honor.

Last week, Atkins wrote a column on The Players’ Tribune which you can read by clicking on the link below.

In the column you can read about the following:

  • Atkins was shopping at Nordstrom Rack when she got a call from Carol Callan, the USA Basketball women’s national team director. Let’s say that she wasn’t expecting to make the team.
  • She’s a very humble person. Once she made the Olympics and told her mom, Atkins told her not to tell anyone else. She had a similar experience about making the varsity basketball team as a freshman in high school. And as a pro, she was a bit star struck by Elena Delle Donne who asked Atkins why she didn’t text the team’s new franchise player when they first met.
  • Atkins didn’t expect to have a “real chance” of making the WNBA until her senior year of college. In 2018, it should be noted that Atkins wasn’t invited to attend, yet she was drafted seventh anyway.
  • While the 2020 WNBA season didn’t go as well as the Mystics hoped. But she found her social advocacy voice during that time, especially when Jacob Blake was shot. The Mystics forced game postponements across the league and wore T-Shirts with bullet holes on them. Myisha Hines-Allen and Emma Meesseman were behind that idea.

I enjoyed reading the comprehensive column by Atkins and hope you do as well.